September 7, 2010
Study Shows Parents Underestimate Teen Use and Abuse of Alcohol
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AUGUSTA – A newly released survey shows that many Maine parents of high school students appear to underestimate their teen’s alcohol use of alcohol, including the amount they drink. The Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) that was recently released and a concurrent parent phone survey show a large gap between what parents believe about their teen’s alcohol use and what teens report.
The Maine Office of Substance Abuse (OSA) is joining forces with local coalitions to raise parental awareness about the realities of underage drinking and to provide them with back to school tips and tools to help keep their kids safe.
In the statewide phone survey of Maine parents, only 26 percent believed their high school age child had ever had more than a few sips of alcohol. Less than 2 percent believed their child had engaged in binge drinking.
According to the recently released MIYHS results, 65 percent of Maine high school teens said they have had at least one alcoholic drink and more than 20 percent say they have had more than five drinks in a row, defined as binge drinking.
OSA, am Office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, aims to inform parents of the extent of teen alcohol use.
“With students back in school, it is a good time to remind parents that all Maine youth are at risk for underage alcohol use,” says Guy Cousins, Director of Maine OSA.
OSA offers five simple, time-proven tips for preventing teen alcohol use through increased parental monitoring:
Research shows that parental monitoring is critical in preventing underage alcohol use. In fact, high school students who don’t believe they would be caught by their parents are three times as likely to drink alcohol.
For more detailed tips and information about how to prevent underage drinking, visit http://www.maineparents.net or contact OSA toll free at 1-800-499-0027.